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The New Face of Canadian Politics

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The New Face of Canadian Politics. Part I: 1945 to 1967 . How did changes in media and technology change the nature of politics, and what were the consequences?

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How did changes in media and technology change the nature of politics, and what were the consequences?

Why did Canada develop more extensive social services, and what role do these play in our national identity? Is this part of what we are known for, are we proud of it?

50 s politics in canada
50’s Politics in Canada:
  • 1948: Mackenzie King retires
  • King’s successor: Louis St. Laurent
  • 1957 election: St. Laurent (Liberal) vs. John Diefenbaker (Progressive Conservatives)
  • King: pre-TV era, media less interested in private lives of politicians
1957 election
1957 Election
  • 1950’s: most homes have a TV, media plays a bigger role in lives of Canadians
  • Public image of politicians: power of media
  • Televised coverage of election, debates: Laurent looks old, unimpressive compared to Diefenbaker’s speaking ability
  • …Diefenbaker wins, First Prime Minister from Western Canada
tv and politics
TV and Politics:
  • What aspects of politics does TV news focus on?
    • Sensationalism
  • How media covers female politicians
    • In Canada, women comprise only 25% of the seats in Parliament (2011)
  • How might TV change the way politicians campaign?
  • How can media corporations influence politics and election results?
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Liberals under St. Laurent lose election – new leader: Lester ‘Mike’ Pearson

  • 1957-1967: Diefenbaker and Pearson lead Canadian politics, alternating roles as P.M. and Leader of Opposition.
  • 5 national elections against each other.
social welfare
Social Welfare:
  • 1932: formation of Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) party. Social-democrat. Wins Saskatchewan in 1944, under Tommy Douglas.
  • First universal health care in Saskatchewan – 1962
    • Douglas: “Father of Medicare”
  • King was trying to win votes from CCF (advocating for working class, poor, and social benefits) - so created unemployment insurance in 1940, family allowance 1944
medicare
Medicare
  • Tommy Douglas forms NDP out of the CCF
  • Liberals (Pearson) fear NDP will take votes, add health care to their platform.
  • Pearson builds on King’s programs started during the war. 1966: Canada Pension Plan, Student Loans, Medical Care Act.
  • Still polls as one of Canadians’ most valued social programs
the new face part ii
… The New Face, Part II:
  • 1967: Diefenbaker and Pearson now seem out of touch after 10 years in power
  • U.S. President Kennedy (1961-63): public interest in dynamic, youthful, charismatic politicians
  • Diefenbaker loses leadership of P.C. in 1967
  • Pearson steps down so Liberals can choose new leader suited to the time

…Pierre Elliot Trudeau

who pays for medicare
Who Pays for Medicare?
  • Federal income tax - personal and corporate
  • GST and PST
  • MSP Premiums (after age 19/24) – Provincial ($831/year for individual)
    • Low income exemptions
    • Some paid by employers (25-30%)
  • Taxes on substances that contribute to health care costs: cigarettes, alcohol
  • Exceptions, not covered?
    • Optical, dental, prescription drugs, home care services
problems with public health care in canada
Problems with Public Health Care in Canada:
  • Canada: ranks 11th out of 34 OECD countries in wait times for health care
  • Up to 15% of Canadians don’t have a family doctor
  • 47% of Canadians reported that they recently went to an emergency department for a health problem that their regular doctor could have treated if he or she had been available - the highest among the countries surveyed.
  • Wait times  conditions worsen, increase cost
  • Below OECD average in access to MRI and CT scans
    • US: CT and MRI machines much higher than OECD average – top cancer treatment and survival rates
problems with private health care u s
Problems with Private Health Care: U.S.
  • OECD average % of GDP spent on health care: 9.3

US: 17.7, by far the highest- twice average spending per person

  • U.S., Mexico and Turkey are only OECD countries (out of 34) without universal health care
  • Can’t afford preventative care  conditions worsen, increase cost
  • Per capita number of physicians and hospital beds lower than OECD average
  • Prescription drugs cost average of 60% more than cost in Europe
health care today
Health Care Today:
  • 82-91% of Canadians prefer our health care system to U.S. system
  • Health care often #1 election issue or #2 after economy
  • Demographics (aging Boomers) – Sustainability?
  • Currently 70% publicly funded, 30% privately funded (out of pocket and private insurance)
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How did changes in media and technology change the nature of politics, and what were the consequences?

Why did Canada develop more extensive social services, and what role do these play in our national identity? Is this part of what we are known for, are we proud of it?

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